European, Egyptian ministers reject Turkish deals with Libya
The foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus, France and Egypt rejected two deals signed by Ankara and Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s U.N.-recognised Libyan government in Tripoli, calling them null and void and condemning Turkey’s activities in the eastern Mediterranean, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.
The ministers met in Cairo on Wednesday as fallout continues from the deals, which apportion a large area of the Mediterranean to Turkey and lay the framework for Turkish troop deployment to support the Tripoli government in its battle against eastern-based rivals.
The four ministers condemned what they called Turkey’s illegal actions and said the maritime agreement, which ignores Greek and Cypriot claims to areas off their islands’ coasts, was illegal and violated the sovereign rights of states in the region.
Turkey displayed the same pattern of aggressive behaviour in Libya as it has shown in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean seas, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias told reporters at the press briefing.
“On Libya we are in unanimous agreement that the agreements on delimiting maritime zones and security cooperation signed between Mr. Sarraj and Turkey are null and void. As well as on the unlawfulness of the latter’s decision to deploy troops in Libya,” Dendias said.
Turkey says its maritime agreement has prevented regional countries from shutting it out of economic activity in areas that lie on its continental shelf. It says it is supporting the U.N.-recognised government of Libya against a rebel army that is receiving military backing from foreign powers, including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.